The city’s first COVID-19 vaccination clinic will open at the downtown Toronto convention center on January 18, Mayor John Tory announced Monday.
Opened three months ahead of schedule, the clinic will administer vaccines to 250 frontline health workers per day, including those working in shelters and public health workers who will in turn administer the vaccine to others.
“In response to a request from the province, the city will open a large COVID-19 vaccination clinic next Monday, a few weeks earlier than originally planned,” Tory said, speaking in an update on city hall COVID-19.
He said hours after receiving the request to open the clinic, Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, the executive director of the Office of Emergency Management, called all concerned to a conference phone call on New Years Day, planning how to open the site and run as fast as possible.
“I know we’re all tired of video conferencing, but trust me, there was no better way to start 2021 than with an urgent appeal on how we could help accelerate the rollout of vaccines to our communities. frontline workers, ”Tory said. .
“This program will allow all of us to refine the concept of immunization clinics to make sure we get it right in all the clinics we have in operation across town when the vaccine becomes available to the general public.”
The MTCC is located at 255 Front Street, near Union Station.
The federal government is responsible for supplying COVID-19 vaccines, while the province is responsible for distributing the vaccine and deciding who gets it and in what order, and the city is responsible for setting up the administration of vaccines at the local level.
Toronto received 50,000 vaccines in 2020 and was due to receive 50,000 more by early 2021. The first vaccines were administered in the city in December.
The province is currently in phase 1 of its three-phase vaccine distribution implementation plan. The first vaccines are given to health workers in hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes and other collective care facilities. The MTCC clinic will not be open to the general public.
So far, residents and staff of the 10 city-owned and operated long-term care homes have been vaccinated and the city is working with hospitals to vaccinate residents and staff of the remaining 77 long-term care homes. town, Tory said.
Toronto’s medical officer of health, Dr Eileen de Villa, reported 978 new cases of COVID-19 in the city on Monday, with 433 people in hospital and 115 in intensive care. As of Monday, 2,064 people in the city had died from COVID-19 since the first case was diagnosed in early 2020 and 71,078 had been infected.
“Our data shows us that, as we discussed in the last briefing, COVID-19 is now spreading at levels so severe that it’s hard to describe,” de Villa said.
“What we are seeing now is the result of too many people spending too much time together in December and especially during the holidays.”
She urged people to be more careful and to only leave home for essential reasons, including shopping, for medical reasons and to exercise.